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Obituary: John A. Moyne

John A. Moyne of Sea Cliff, NY, 93, died peacefully after a long illness, surrounded by his family, on Feb. 26, 2014. Linguist, professor and author of numerous books on Sufism and the life and work of 13th-century Persian poet Rumi, he worked as translator/collaborator with Coleman Barks on six volumes of poetry by Rumi, including the best-selling, The Essential Rumi.


A nati ve of Iran, Mr. Moyne came to the United States in 1956. He received his M.S. degree in computer science from Georgetown University and worked for the IBM Corporation. He subsequently received his Ph.D. in linguistics and oriental languages and literatures from Harvard University and was professor and chairman of the Department of Computer Science at Queens College, CUNY, and later, professor and chairman of the Department of Linguistics at The Graduate Center, CUNY.


During his long and distinguished academic and professional career, he published numerous articles and scientific papers on language and computer language. He pioneered the development of Machine Translation Language Program that was widely used by the US government and in the private sector. From 1991 to 1993, he led delegations of American linguistic educators to China and Russia.


John was an active member and board member of the North Shore Kiwanis Club and served as president of the Sea Cliff Civic Association for many years.


John is survived by his wife Claudia Moyne, former Mayor of Sea Cliff, his sons Nicholas (Elizabeth) and David, daughter Parvin Sturges-Moyne (Zachary), grandchildren Lucas and Daphne, and brothers, Jalal (Lili) and George (Jane) of New York and Virginia. 


A memorial service was held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 253 Glen Ave., Sea Cliff, on Saturday, March 8.